The US and the European Union will soon allow security agencies to swap private information, including credit card purchases, travel histories and web surfing. The potential agreement is a breakthrough in a standoff between American counterterrorism officials and their trans-Atlantic counterparts, whose countries tend to have more stringent privacy laws. Draft language for the agreement has finally been ironed out, after 17 months of haggling.
The parties are still figuring out if European citizens should be allowed to sue the US for how it handles the information. One European parliament member feared "it will serve as a pretext to freely share our personal data with anyone."